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    Design For a Cause : Winners Announcement

    After 11+ weeks of designing, researching, prototyping, coding and testing, our Design for a Cause Challenge has come to a close.  Have our challengers improved the lives of individuals living with physical or mental impairments?


    The judges have tallied up their thoughts and feedback for all 16 challengers and finalized the grand prize and runner up winners as well as the finishers.


    We are very pleased to congratulate all the winners of the Design for a Cause Challenge and participants!


    The Winners:


    Grand Prize
    Fingerprint Skeleton Key - Milos Rasic

    Project Summary






    Milos created a device that helps users with sight issues or low dexterity to open locked doors.  The prototype scans RFID tags next to or on locks.  Then it presents the user with the right key using added fingerprint recognition technology.


    Link to Milo's Blogs
    Fingerprint Skeleton Key - Design for a Cause

    Milo's Wrap up Post (including videos)
    First Working Prototype


    Judges' Feedback:

    A very creative, if, over engineered device, I really love that this seems like an original concept. Very well written blogs with good Demos and Videos to accompany.



    Grand Prize Includes:

    $900 USD to your favorite charity

    FLUKE 279 FC/IFLEX Digital Multimeter

    Tinkerkit Braccio Robotic Arm DIY Kit




    Runner Up
    Seeing EyeDuino - Dale Winhold

    Project Summary



    Dale created a special walker with integrated sonar and braille interface.  He combined solenoids into a display that overcome obstacles for blind users.


    Link to Dale's Blogs
    Seeing EyeDuino - Design for a Cause

    Dale’s Wrap up Post (including videos)
    All Wired & Ready for Trial Run

    Watch Final Video


    Judges' Feedback:

    A very novel and practical piece of assistive technology incorporating a walker as well as an extra sense.



    Runner Up Prize Includes:

    $500 USD to your favorite charity

    Tenma  72-847472-8474 Oscilloscope

    Microduino Quadcopter w/Joypad




    Not everyone can win the grand prize but everyone who've reached the finish line is a winner in their own way.  Anyone who adhered to the terms and conditions, used our Arduino MKR1000 Dev Board and posted more than 10 progress blogs receives a finishers' prize.  This includes all winners and any non-sponsored Challengers that have completed the Design for a Cause Challenge.


    Please join us in congratulating all finishers as we look forward to reading your blogs and introducing your project designs.

    Dale Winhold | Dixon Selvan | F. Yao | Kyle Buchanan | Milos Rasic | Pranjal Ranjan | Prashanth Kumar G N | Rob Romero

    Dale Winhold


    Project: The Seeing EyeDuino

    Synopsis: The Seeing EyeDuino will be a robotic Seeing Eye dog that guide the seeing impaired around obstacles and danger. The user will be able to control the speed through the hand harness attached to the robot. When there is danger the robot will emit a specific sound correlated with that danger to alert the user. There will be different sound emitted for different dangers.  I will also try to create a touch pad that will send this information in braille as well.

    Dale Winhold's project blogs

    Dixon Selvan


    Project: Anosmia

    Synopsis:  This project is to enhance the lives of people suffering from Anosmia, an inability to sense smell. The project will be split into two main subsystems: Audio & Visual Cue System and a Smart Wheel Chair.  It translate the smells in the environment and have voice control features over appliances—alerting potentially harmful gas leaks.

    Dixon Selvan's project blogs

    F. Yao


    Project: Blowing-Whistle as Controller(BWaC)

    Synopsis: The Blowing-Whistle as Controller (BWaC) can control home appliance remotely.  It is helpful to elders with slow coordination and difficult precise touch controller like an IR-remote or mobile. The one fix-frequency whistle can send on-off signals to lock doors, turn off LED lamps, and close curtains.  It can also detect keys left at the door.  When you blow the whistle in front of your door, the servo will turn the lock.

    F. Yao's project blogs

    Kyle Buchanan


    Project: The Balance Belt

    Synopsis: A wearable device for seniors that senses falling motion and bad posture. Following the detection of a fall, the device will send a notification to the user's phone and a motor vibration in the device. If the user does not respond with a confirmation within a given time limit, the device would call 911 using a recorded message with the user's name, address and medical history then it would request an ambulance. We would like to implement things like posture reminders, and other functions to ensure a better quality of life.

    Kyle Buchanan's project blogs

    Milos Rasic


    Project: Fingerprint Skeleton Key

    Synopsis: My idea is primarily aimed towards the visually impaired people, but I feel it can be useful for anyone. We live in an age of an ever growing market of smart locks and NFC locks, again there are a lot of plain locks which remain all over. While for a non visually impaired person it's annoying to go through a key ring looking for the right one, it is even more cumbersome for a visually impaired person. Another problem is finding where people left their keys.  This product should resolve these issues.

    Milos Rasic's project blogs

    Pranjal Ranjan


    Project: AUDIO4VISION - Automated Image Caption Audio Generator for Visually Impaired People

    Synopsis: Living with visual impairment can be challenging, since daily-life situations are difficult to understand without good visual acuity. This is a wearable device, a headset with a camera(arduCam) on the front, which will take a continuous stream of images. These images will then be passed through a neural network model and give a description announcing to the visually impaired user.

    Pranjal Ranjan's project blogs

    Prashanth Kumar G N


    Project: Smart Voice synthesizer and visualizer

    Synopsis: This project aims to solve challenges faced by the people who are unable to speak.  The wearable sensor based gloves acquire information related to the shape, orientation, movement, and location of the hand. They contain flex sensors and a 3-D accelerometer. Based on particular movement, voice correspondence will be generated and the text will be displayed. A mode change on the system can also control home appliances connected to the system.

    Prashanth Kumar G N's project blogs

    Rob Romero


    Project: Autism Assistant

    Synopsis: My autistic son does not speak so I will create a system that will speak on his behalf with the push of buttons.  I will also implement a touch screen where he can select items with the button and say “I want” then display item that he selects.  It will say out loud “I want” “Apple” or “Chips” or whatever he selects.  My goal is to develop a device with a flash drive that parents can add photos and audio (their voice) for each item to meet the child's needs.

    Rob Romero's project blogs